Customs and Border Protection (CBP) The Department of Homeland Security agency resposible for the movement of people and goods across international boundaries has published several statements on how sequestration will affect its operations:
Travel and Trade: In a FAQ issued on Saturday, CBP indicates that “under the automatic sequestration cuts, we anticipate reducing agency-wide expenditures significantly during the remainder of Fiscal Year 2013. CBP Field Operations, the office responsible for securing the U.S. border at ports of entry, will experience budget cuts equating to the loss of several thousand CBP officers at these ports of entry, in addition to significant cuts to operating budgets and programs. Stakeholders in the travel and trade industries will see service impacts and CBP employees will be furloughed. Additional information regarding priorities during sequestration, reduced hours of operation at ports and increased airport wait times of up to 50% or more are provided.
Imports: CBP has issued a FAQ on how the sequestration cuts may affect the movement of imports into the United States. The agency states that “at the national level, OFO and the Office of International Trade (OT) Headquarters staff will participate in weekly telephone conference calls, coordinated through the Office of Trade Relations, with cargo industry stakeholders to address the impacts of the sequester on imported shipments. As part of the weekly conference call, OFO, OT, and industry stakeholders will discuss modifications to this document to address impacts caused by sequestration.” It also answers such questions on port monitors, responses to trade disruptions and whether any special procedures will be put in place for conveyance diversions during sequestration.
Cargo Priorities: CBP has also issued a framework for cargo priorities under sequestration. CBP states that the following “roadmap” will be used to reduce the impact of sequestration on business:
Improving the automated systems and processes for receiving advance information on cargo and passengers and using that information for targeting terrorism risks or other threats;
Modernizing our commercial operations, and working with our trade partners to secure the nation and to keep commerce flowing;
Integrating other government agencies into our risk-based strategy and into a seamless process that is both efficient and effective; and
Working with other countries to secure the global trade lanes and with the World Customs Organization to promote a global and more unified approach to supply chain security
The Immigrationist will provide additional updates on agency changes as a result of sequestration as they become avialable.